The news, unfortunately, tends to be full of depressing stories, and one that was drawn to my attention earlier this evening was about as depressing as a local news story can get, involving as it did the death of an 84-year-old Wibsey woman named Joyce Moulson following an attack upon her home by vandals last night. The latter threw stones at her front door, breaking one of its glass panes. The stress engendered by this cruel behaviour caused Mrs Moulson to collapse some ten minutes after the incident, and she later died in Bradford Royal Infirmary.
The police stated that they were searching for “three male youths” in connection with the incident on Fair Road, but rather oddly, the descriptions of the suspects provided in the Halifax Courier made reference to one of them as being “white, around 13 years old, of large build with dark, shoulder length curly hair” whilst omitting to mention the racial background of the other two who were simply described as “of similar age and of slimmer build.” Why was this? Were the other two clad from head to toe in all-enveloping clothing that hid any trace of their skin from onlookers? As for the Telegraph and Argus, it didn’t mention any racial characteristics whatsoever, as was the case with the later BBC report which revealed that the West Yorkshire Police had arrested “four boys, two aged 12 and two aged 13,[who] . . . were being questioned on suspicion of manslaughter.”
When police are searching for suspects, surely racial background is held to be a useful identifying characteristic as suggested by the report’s reference to a “white” boy, so why was only the “white” individual singled out? Were the others white, or not? The manner in which the report was written suggests not, so what were they, and why was this information withheld if it was known? To make reference to the racial background of one of the suspects and not to that of the others is peculiar, not to mention a potential hindrance to aiding in their identification.